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First no "D" in Pittsburgh, now no "O"

It's open season on NHL coaches, and Eddie Olczyk is our first victim, having been shown the door Thursday by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Everybody who looked at their roster at the start of the year saw a potential offensive juggernaut with huge holes on defense, and unfortunately for Eddie O, the "potential" offense didn't materialize. The Penguins languish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference in Goals For, and with Mario Lemieux's continuing medical issues, it's doubtful that things are going to change quickly on that end. The best they can hope for is that Michel Therrien can introduce some discipline and defensive intensity so the team can at least compete on a regular basis.

The bottom line, however, is that the players bailed on Olczyk, and that's not a good sign. For a team with that much talent and experience to give up on a coach, either the coach was truly awful, or there are some malcontents in the locker room. Check back a month or two from now and we should have a better idea as to which is the case.

Speaking of coaches, take a look at this laugher of a column over at ESPN by Scott Burnside, in which he breathlessy writes, "Coach [Wayne] Gretzky has followed the same other-worldly career arc that defined him as a player." Wow, so Gretzky the Coach (16-13-2, 9th in the Western Conference) is following the same path as Gretzky the Player? Methinks Burnside has been sitting out in the desert staring at the sun for too long. The Coyotes are a mediocre team today, just as they have been for the last several years. If they earn home-ice advantage in the playoffs, and/or make some noise in the spring, then maybe it's time to get excited about Coach Gretzky. Until then, he's just another former player trying his luck behind the bench.

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Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site, www.ontheforecheck.com!


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